One Tooth and Three Firsts

I am a sensitive person but sadly the most sensitive bit of me is a tooth. While I was waiting for the drugs to kick in on Thursday night I watched the first film I bought on video, not that long after that crazy dream of being able to watch all your favourite stuff whenever you wanted became a reality.

Crossing Delancey (1988) with Amy Irving and Peter Riegert has a wonderful soundtrack from the Roches, a writerly theme, and a Jewish Bubba who hires a marriage broker for her thirty-something granddaughter. In the story, the writer is a git and it’s the pickle man with the poetry.

The first music I bought on vinyl, was Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits which is still cool, almost as cool as the Wombles which might have been the second.


or oooler?

Here’s a secret, even though I no longer nurture ambitions to sing my way to fame and fortune (more fortune) I still have singing lessons. My song of the moment is The Sound of Silence, which the lovely Elaine (singing teacher) would let me belt out every lesson, ironically.

The Owl Service by Alan Garner has to be the first book I bought for myself as opposed to Ned the Lonely Donkey, which was bought for me, twice. A few years ago, I mentioned Ned to a lovely friend; I told her how sad I felt that it was lost in the jumble of house moves and parents passing their use by date. She found it on the Internet for me, where else? So, when I was looking for the Owl Service to prove I did own it, my first thought was a Google search. Could Google ever be that clever? Could it give you a list of helpful suggestions of where to look when you’ve lost something? If it’s already an App, hurray I’m tapping into the zeitgeist, if not you read it here first.

Amazingly still available on Amazon

My tooth is now better, probably more through hope and an abiding fear of the dentist, although we have a lovely one and I am much better about going. And hurray, today I went out for beaujolais soaked lunch but didn’t need the crackling new strip of ibuprofen in my bag, not for my tooth anyway.

How about you? Your three firsts: the film, music and book that first moved you to part with hard cash.


15 responses to “One Tooth and Three Firsts

  1. In my case I’m quite proud to say I’ve never bought a film for myself in video ever. I’ve bought a lot of films for my children of course, which I’ve enjoyed greatly, but that’s a little different.

    Music is another thing entirely though. Going back to 1972, discounting birthday & Xmas gifts, the first music I ever paid for out of my own pocket aged 13 was a 2nd hand copy of “Jeepster” by T.Rex, though I’d already inherited a pile of my cool Aunt’s 1960’s record hand-me-downs before then, including original release Beatles, Mersey Beat, Stones, Beach Boys, Roy Orbison etc. Every one of those had been played to death and trashed, would be worth a fair bit now! The first record I bought brand new, soon after in the same year was “Seaside Shuffle” by Terry Dactyle and the Dinosaurs (Jona Lewie under another guise).

    I DJ’ed for years in Tokyo and amassed a vast collection, ranging from rock (much of it punk era) to dub reggae, rare groove, D & B, minimal techno and prog house, a lot of house, all of which I left behind when I came back to the UK. An old colleague cherry-picked the more valuable parts of my collection and all my singles, the rest was just abandoned. Now I don’t even own a record player.

    The first book bought out of my own pocket in 1969 was a paperback of Enid Blyton’s “Mystery of the Vanishing Prince”.

    • So interesting how we spend so much of our lives amassing vast collections which are so important at the time but can be abandoned when something more important comes along – but I bet that was hard, John!
      I didn’t have a record player until about ’74 which was one of those boxy ones that are so desirable on eBay now. I did pay over the odds for one that needed attention a couple of years ago but it was doomed. I took it to the last TV repair shop in the city, I think. The business was reduced to a shed at the back of a parade of shops. Mr TV repair man said it could take a while to get the bits. It did. One day after he’d had it for a few months the road flooded with a burst main and the last TV repair shop was washed away with my record player. I’ve still got the records though. Not sure about the Wombles, I think my brother claimed that.

  2. Vinyl I think was Aha.
    Video was probably a Blackadder series.
    But I couldn’t tell you which book. I expect that after I was born the first place I went too after the hospital was the book shop! Whenever there was a second hand toy sale at school i usd to buy bag full of books all for 5p each 🙂

    • Bag of books for 5p – you sound like my other half, George. I was a slow reader. Janet and John did for me a school – oh the agony of standing to read at the teacher’s desk as a mixed infant. So I didn’t start to read properly until I could take myself to the library when I was teenager, when one of my favourite spots was the corner where PG Wodehouse was stashed. I think I bought the Owl Service because I’d seen it on TV.

  3. First film – doubt we bought one till I left home. But the first I remember watching was Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. I still have fond memories now, which would be scotched, no doubt, if I ever found it to re-watch.
    First single – Beatles: Please please me. OMG you are making me feel so old whereas I never think of myself that way.
    First book that I remember would have been in the Lone Pine series by Malcolm Saville. These days I own a whole set of all his books, some of which cost me dear, and my kids are instructed not to automatically give certain ones to a charity shop after I die – because that’s their inheritance!

    • Yes, it can be a mistake re-watching something you loved as a child or in my case as a teenager I LOVED The BBC’s Poldark from the mid seventies. SAw them again on video (not DVD) recently – the acting is terrible and the scenery wobbles.
      I used to borrow a few Malcolm Saville from the library. Had a look on Amazon and used copies from the Lone Pine series are selling for around £10 to £12 – definitely an inheritance!

      • The two rare ones go for upwards of 160 quid 😉 And there’s obviously a difference between ones with perfect dust covers (rare in children’s books, for obvious reasons), ones that are first editions, and the abridged ones he was so often forced to agree to in the decades after. But all that is another topic…

      • Wow!
        I looked because I wondered if there were any on Kindle, sadly not.
        SO yes yes yes DEFINITELY an inheritance;o)

  4. Wow that’s got me thinking and reminiscing.
    We had lots of 45’s that were cover versions – early Tesco give aways and they made it into my possessions and played on my Chad Valley turntable. The first few 45’s that i bought myself included the Monkees – Pleasant Valley Sunday, Mouldy Old Dough by Leuitenant Pigeon and Tom Jones – Delilah.
    Just to try and claw back a bit of street cred, my first album was a bootleg The Who live.
    My first books, that I coveted and read in the caravan at Skegness, – The Famous Five. I eventually bought a full set so don’t remember which was the first one.
    I used to live out those adventures on the sand dunes at Inglemells and scowl at suspicious looking bearded sea captains.
    Actually, I’ve still got all of the above.
    Oh and you asked about films. I’ve bought 100’s but cannot for the life of me remember the first. It would have been on video, unless super 8mm Flintstones cartoons count, when I was about 8.

    • I had a friend at junior school, who at eleven was brilliant at drawing in the style of Hanna-Barbera; she used to put her friends and relations in comic book stories all bout the Monkees.
      Re-enacting the Famous Five from a caravan at Skegness is brilliant – especially the scowling!

  5. Thank you John, George, Eleanor and Paul for some very interesting ‘firsts’. I really enjoyed reading them:o)

  6. Robert Strakovits (now Hayana !!)

    Just imagine Eleanor would be called Ringo ! 🙂

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